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“Call Your Family, Go to Class” — Former EXO Idol Huang Zitao Explodes on Whiny Fans

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Ex-EXO member Huang Zitao stunned his fans with a harsh rebuke.

When the star’s production studio posted images from a new photoshoot, fans were not satisfied. They complained online about the styling of the shoot, digital retouching, and even the late hour of the social media post.

Well, they may have some points. But Huang Zitao ultimately became fed up, and spoke out against his fans.

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“Everything here was decided by me. I’m not hugely interested in styling and appearances, but I’m thankful to the brand for the outfit.”

“I’m too lazy to take pictures,” he wrote. “What will posting them earlier or later matter? Changing outfits each time is so annoying and doesn’t mean much, either.”

That wasn’t the end of it though. Hours later, Huang Zitao posted again, explaining that all pre-event, hype-building photoshoots would be cancelled.

“I really don’t like shooting these types of things now. Natural pictures are fine…starting from today, it’ll stop. I don’t like magazine shoots either, so those will stop too. Thanks.”

It’s become normal in the Chinese entertainment world to use photoshoots as a tool to build excitement ahead of artists’ events and releases. At the same time, official bodies have been cracking down on “overzealous” fan culture — the sudden cancellation of smash hit Youth With You 3 left fans crying over spilled milk, and idol Xiao Zhan just won thousands in a lawsuit over one fan’s online comments.

In this instance, Huang Zitao found himself caught in a crossfire. His fans love him, but didn’t like the work he posted. They lambasted his production studio, while also stanning Huang himself.

The unnecessary situation came to a head when the idol returned to Weibo for one more angry post, leaving no room for questions.

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“Let me be blunt. I pay attention to reality. I listen to myself. I’ve never listened to fans’ suggestions. I don’t know when this trend started, of taking better, faster, pictures. So flashy.”

“Why yell at my employees if you have an opinion about the clothes and hair styles that I decided myself? You think they can sway me? If you like flashy people, then you won’t like me.”

“Go find someone who will take pictures for you every day. Find someone who will listen to your opinion. It’s useless to me, alright? You’re not getting it and you’re making me say it bluntly. You have time to type out critiques and yell at people, why don’t you call your family, go to class, go to work.”

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On Weibo, some fans supported their idol speaking his mind, while others admonished him.

“All good,” wrote one. “He can do whatever he wants!”

“Who wants to control you,” asked one hurt fan. “We cry in the middle of the night to support you.”

“You’ve just disbanded the studio and the fan club,” reads the top comment.

Whether agreeing or disagreeing with Huang Zitao’s decision, many felt that the star seemed tired and angry.

Cover image: Weibo

Adan Kohnhorst
Adan Kohnhorst is a US-based writer, producer, multimedia artist, and former associate editor at RADII. His work has been featured in publications such as Maxim and the Chinese-language StreetVoice, and he’s an active member of the hip hop and DIY music scenes in Shanghai, NYC, and Dallas. He learned Mandarin in high school to train at the Shaolin Temple but now uses it to interview rappers. He blogs about China and Asia on Instagram: @this.is.adan